Kuilau Ridge Trail Hiking Trail
Experience the lush tropical vegetation of Hawaii
- Destination: Hawaii
- Season: January-December
- Difficulty: Easy
- Distance: 4.5 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 160 meters
- Duration: 2-3.5 hours
About Kuilau Ridge Trail
This family-friendly trail leads you through an area with lush tropical vegetation and it might feel like you are in Jurassic World. All around you are large trees and high vegetation. When you get to the ridge you have beautiful views on both sides of the trail. A perfect starter hike on Kauai.
From Hanalei or Lihue, take Kuhio Highway (56) to Wailua beach. Turn left and enter Kuamo’o Road. You will pass the Opaeka’a Falls. After 7 kilometers you will see a bridge crossing the river. Park your car here or go back 100 meters and park by the trailhead if there is still room.
The trail starts 100 meters before the bridge and the trailhead is clearly marked. Head through the gate and you are on your way. The trail is easy to follow and gradually climbs up the hill to the ridge.
About halfway along the trail, you will reach a flat area with a shelter and some benches. From here the trail is not that well marked but you should find it on the right side of the shelter. The trail descends for 30 meters, but quickly after it starts ascending again. Continue on and you will get a view of a beautiful waterfall on your right-hand side before reaching the end of the trail marked by a sign.
- No drinking water along the trail.
- There is a shelter with two picnic benches on the trail, as well as one by the parking lot.
- There no public toilets on the trail. There are public toilets 100 meters from the parking lot, just cross the bridge and walk left.
- You will find some shops along the Kuhio Highway or Waipouli mall. Waipouli mall has a big supermarket.
Where to stay
You can choose from one of the many hotels on Kauai. The island is not big, the maximum distance you can travel is two hours, one way.
The island also has several camping pitches. The closest ones can be found around Anahola Beach Park. You need to obtain a permit in Linue to stay at this campsite.
Questions or comments? Let us know.
By Nadja Kroon
World traveler originally from the Netherlands.